Morning routines: How to design the perfect morning

- January 14, 2019 2 MIN READ

Call it a casualty of being a mother of two boys under five, but there’s nothing more luxurious (to me) than being able to dictate your morning routine.

Like, everyday.

So I’m devouring the articles on a newly discovered website, My Morning Routine for its birds-eye view into the myriad of ways very clever people start their day.

The photo above is a drawing by Austin Kleon a New York writer interviewed for the site, who works from home.

Simple is best

The simplicity of his routine speaks right to my future self (the one who isn’t bound by pre-dawn wake-ups and a part-time office job).

In Austin’s world autonomous mornings are king.

He writes: “The luxury of working from home and not having a job-job is that we’re able to wake up slow and take our time easing into the day. There’s no frantic rush to get in the car and get somewhere.”

No email before 12pm

Even more revolutionary is Austin’s email-free zone.

Despite his freelancer status, he purposely chooses (on good days) not to check his email before lunchtime.

He writes:

“The biggest task is to try to keep my headspace from being invaded by the outside world; to be alone with my own thoughts before I can sit down and make something.”

Do your most dreaded tasks – first

On the days I work from home, I also find email and social media particularly distracting, first thing.

Ditto the three days of the week I work from an office; when I start my work day with the hardest (read: least interesting) article of the day.

For some reason this small discipline keeps me on track for the rest of the day.

Making a routine and the joy of breaking it!

Of course, like most important things in life, there are always exceptions to the rule.

As much as Austin enjoys his finely-honed morning ritual, he equally relishes the opportunity to break it!

One thing about a routine is that the days where you break it can be some of the most interesting days… but they wouldn’t be unless you had a routine to break.”

Ha! How true is that?

My goal is to not look at email until after lunch. If there’s something important, people will text me. Of course, I can’t always do that—I don’t have the world’s best self-control—but right now that’s what I aim for.

With every piece I miss, the odds of a strong day go down. I’m not saying it’ll ruin my day if I don’t sleep well or have to rush out the door before I exercise; it just makes it harder, and it makes it less likely that I’ll have my optimal energy.